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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 25 October 2018

Norah Almusharraf

An examination of the research literature suggests that no attempt has been made to examine learner autonomy development within female university-level English as a…

4239

Abstract

Purpose

An examination of the research literature suggests that no attempt has been made to examine learner autonomy development within female university-level English as a Foreign Language (EFL) students in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Given that English has become the world’s predominant lingua franca for academia, business, and politics, the purpose of this paper, therefore, is to fill this gap in the literature.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative case study that aims to explore learner autonomy in vocabulary development.

Findings

The results showed that teachers are cognizant of the concept of learner autonomy. However, they are not all certain of the benefits of autonomous vocabulary learning. This study reveals how six adult learners’ levels of autonomy are highly influenced by their teachers’ practices. This study draws out suggestions for English language teachers who promote learner autonomy theory and practice. It also offers specific guidance, models, and adapted learning approaches of how to promote autonomy inside the classroom.

Research limitations/implications

This study encountered several limitations. The first is time: the study took place over the course of two months in the Summer of 2016, when students were fully encumbered with schoolwork and social duties. The recruitment of participants during that time was a challenge. Some of the students who agreed to participate in the study were not fully engaged in the research. Additionally, the study faced difficulties with faculty commitment – one of the professors delayed the interview session multiple times and perceived some of the interview questions negatively. In addition, Dickinson’s (1993) characteristics of learner autonomy are largely related to the opportunities that are presented to the students by the teacher. It appears that Dickinson’s scale was meant to be used to identify students’ level of autonomy, particularly inside the classroom. However, because of some of the examples of activities pertaining to how they learned vocabulary outside the classroom, they were not related to classroom teaching. Also, the number of the participants is limited in this study.

Practical implications

A future study could be undertaken to measure and quantitatively analyze learners’ vocabulary development on a larger scale. Research could also be conducted using a pretest, an intervention, and a posttest to measure the effectiveness of learning vocabulary autonomously. In addition, other pedagogical approaches could be utilized to measure EFL students’ intrinsic motivation and autonomy, which play critical roles in learning. Allowing learners to self-select their preferred method of learning can help them to develop their vocabulary knowledge. The findings from this study reveal that learner autonomy plays a significant role in enhancing EFL students’ vocabulary development.

Originality/value

When students learn vocabulary autonomously, they are better able to source the lingua franca’s core pronunciation of a word and its spelling without the influence of the teacher’s cultural background. Given the magnitude of teachers’ workloads, they may lack the time for designing lessons that adequately meet the needs of diverse learners. Therefore, the practical way to ameliorate the problem of inadequate time is to provide them with methods (e.g. using strategies such as inquiry-based learning, problem-based learning, and project-based learning) that they can use to more readily foster learner autonomy.

Details

Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching & Learning, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2397-7604

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 1 June 2017

Fakieh Alrabai

This study attempts to assess the readiness of Saudi students for independent/autonomous learning, with a focus on learning of English as a Foreign Language (EFL). The…

Abstract

This study attempts to assess the readiness of Saudi students for independent/autonomous learning, with a focus on learning of English as a Foreign Language (EFL). The study used a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews to gain insights from a population of 319 students (aged 15-24) about their perceptions of responsibilities, decision-making abilities, motivation, involvement in autonomy-related activities, and capacity to take charge of their own learning. The findings of the study confirmed the relatively low readiness of Saudi EFL learners for independent learning (M = 3.06 on a scale of 1 to 5, SD =.31). Learners demonstrated low responsibility levels, since only 17.27% of them perceived that they accept sole responsibility for their EFL learning. Respondents reported a moderate level of ability (M = 3.63) and motivation (M = 3.70) to learn English. A considerable percentage of participants (27.29%) reported that they are rarely involved in self-directed activities; they demonstrated high levels of teacher dependency and low levels of learner independence. Despite the participants’ reasonable level of awareness of the nature of learner autonomy and its demands, their responses identified them as EFL learners with low autonomy. This study informs EFL learning stakeholders in Saudi Arabia that learners’ readiness for such conditions must be developed before interventions aimed at promoting autonomy are implemented in this context.

.هيتاذ ةروصب ةيزيلجنلإا ةغللا ملعتل نييدوعسلا بلاطلا ةيزهاج ىدم ميقت نأ ةساردلا هذه لواحت تفظونايبتسا ةساردلا ا تلاباقمو رظن ةهجو ىلع لوصحلل319 لوح ابلاط يتاذ لكشب ملعتلل ةيلوئسملا مهلمحت ىدمةيعفادلا ،رارقلا ذاختا ىلع مهتردق ، ةغللا ملعتلةيبنجلاا ةغللا ملعتل نييدوعسلا بلاطلا ةيزهاج فعض ةساردلا جئاتن تتبثا .يتاذ لكشب ملعتلا ىلع ةردقلاو ،ةيتاذلا ةطشنلأا يف ةكراشملا ،يلجنلإا = طسوتم( يتاذ لكشب ةيز3.06 = يرايعم فارحنا ،31. ثيح يتاذ لكشب ملعتلل ةيلوئسملل مهلمحت فعض نوكراشملا تبثا .)تبسن ام ىعداه طقف(17.27 ملعتلا ىلع ةردقلل ةطسوتم تايوتسم نوكراشملا سكع نيح يف كلذل مهلمحت نيكراشملا يلامجا نم )%3.63ةيعفادلاو ) لجنلإا ةغللا ملعتل( ةيزي3.70( نيكراشملا نم ةريبك ةبسن سكعت .)27.83يف مهتكراشم مدع )% يتاذلا ملعتلا ةطشنأ ريبك لكشب دامتعلااولوح نوكراشملا اهادبا يتلا ةطسوتملا تايوتسملا نم مغرلا ىلع .سفنلا ىلع دامتعلاا فعضو ملعملا ىلع فارتعلاا بمهتاباجا نا لاا هتابلطتمو يتاذلا ملعتلا ةيمهأ هذه يصوت .يتاذلا ملعتلل مهتيزهاج مدع تتبثا ةلباقملا ةلئساو نايبتسلاا ىلعلا جمد ةلواحم لبق يتاذلا ملعتلل ةبسانملا ةئيبلا ريفوتب ةيدوعسلا ةيبرعلا ةكلمملا يف ةيزيلجنلإا ةغللا ملعت نع نيلوئسملا ةساردلا يف بلاط .ملعتلا نم عونلا اذه

Details

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2077-5504

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 11 May 2022

Daniel Juan Cabugsa

The present quantitative-descriptive study aims to measure the level of English language learning autonomy of the pre-service teachers.

Abstract

Purpose

The present quantitative-descriptive study aims to measure the level of English language learning autonomy of the pre-service teachers.

Design/methodology/approach

A short list questionnaire developed by Dixon (2011) was administered to 61 pre-service English teachers enrolled in Western Mindanao State University in order to measure their English language learning autonomy. Differences on the levels of English language learning autonomy across participants’ gender, number of languages spoken and first language were also explored.

Findings

Results revealed that participants are highly autonomous in English language learning. Gender, number of languages spoken and first language were found to have no significant influence on English language learning autonomy.

Research limitations/implications

Results on the level of English language learning autonomy indicate that pre-service teachers are highly autonomous and, therefore, ready for lifelong learning. This implies pedagogical and instructional advantages, as they can learn and explore the language independently.

Practical implications

Since gender, number of languages spoken and first language do not significantly influence the level of English language learning autonomy, it is suggested that English teachers do not need to develop differentiated instructions and activities anymore, which will cater the three profile variables in fostering autonomous learning, as participants already exhibit a level of autonomy in English language learning.

Social implications

This would allow teachers and students to be aware of the importance of autonomy in language learning. Thus, it will prepare them to be independent and lifelong learners, as they engage themselves in the professional world.

Originality/value

As one of the Asia’s developing countries, the Philippines have captured a small number of studies and contributions to autonomous learning in the field of research (Madrunio, Tarrayo, Tupas and Valdez, 2016 as cited in Iñigo, 2018). Specifically, there is no research study conducted that measures “language learning autonomy” in the Philippine’s higher education much to the knowledge of the researcher. Thus, this study will be the first one to determine the level of autonomy of pre-service teachers in English language learning in the Philippine context. Furthermore, the present study also intended to determine significant differences on the level of language learning autonomy of pre-service teachers across genders, number of languages spoken and their first language.

Details

Saudi Journal of Language Studies, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2634-243X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 April 2022

Huixiao Le and Jiyou Jia

In intelligent tutoring systems (ITS), learners were often granted limited authority and are forced to obey the decision of the system which might not satisfy their needs…

Abstract

Purpose

In intelligent tutoring systems (ITS), learners were often granted limited authority and are forced to obey the decision of the system which might not satisfy their needs. Failure to grant learners sufficient autonomy could yield unexpected effects that hinder learning, including undermining learners’ motivation, priming learners’ aversion to the algorithm. On the contrary, granting learners overwhelming autonomy could also be harmful as the absence of learning support would also have a negative impact on learning. As such, this study aims to design and implement an intelligent tutoring system that offers learners proper autonomy.

Design/methodology/approach

The main learning activity in the system is doing exercises, and by finishing exercises learners could earn virtual coins. Based on item response theory, exercises are administered to learners with proper difficulty. Based on a recommended difficulty parameter predicted by the system, learners could manually modify the difficulty of the exercises, they could earn more credits by finishing more challenging exercises. Meanwhile, a pedagogical agent is embedded. Learners could customize the agent’s personality jointly with the system to create the learning context they prefer.

Findings

A intelligent tutoring system with proper learner autonomy (LA) is designed and implemented.

Originality/value

Few previous researches have noticed the potentially important role that LA plays in ITS. Learning might be facilitated using such a design.

Details

Interactive Technology and Smart Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-5659

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 June 2012

Siew Foen Ng, Gary J. Confessore and Moniza Abdullah

The purpose of this study is to assess the effect on Learner Autonomy Profile (LAP) scores and academic success of a five‐week coaching intervention for pre‐diploma…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to assess the effect on Learner Autonomy Profile (LAP) scores and academic success of a five‐week coaching intervention for pre‐diploma university students in Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

A quasi‐experimental designed was used. Participants completed the LAP pre‐ and post‐intervention. The experimental group of 35 participated in five weekly learner autonomy coaching sessions and wrote in computer‐managed reflection logs between meetings. A 52‐member control group received no intervention. Null hypotheses expected no significant differences in post‐ over pre‐intervention LAP scores or in GPA, Math, or English grades for either group.

Findings

Two null hypotheses were not supported and one was. Significant increases in mean post‐ over pre‐intervention LAP scores of the experimental group were found in eight of 22 components and two of four constructs of the LAP. No significant differences were found in the mean post‐ over pre‐intervention LAP scores of the control group. Significant increases were found in post‐ over pre‐intervention grades of both groups. However, the experimental group achieved a greater positive difference in grades than did the experimental group.

Research limitations/implications

There was no hypothesis related to the use of group coaching versus the traditional individual coaching model in this study.

Practical implications

Learner autonomy group coaching and reflection activities appear to enhance behavioral intentions to learn and academic success.

Social implications

Enhanced behavioral intentions to learn and academic success benefits the learner and society.

Originality/value

This is the first study designed to test the capacity to influence learner autonomy expressed in terms of behavioral intentions through coaching and its relationship to academic success.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 1 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 June 2019

Amy Yong, Maree Roche and Anna Sutton

Previous studies have demonstrated that an autonomy-supportive supervision style is associated with improved well-being and positive behaviours for supervisees. However…

Abstract

Purpose

Previous studies have demonstrated that an autonomy-supportive supervision style is associated with improved well-being and positive behaviours for supervisees. However, autonomy-supportive training (AST) has yet to be tailored to suit supervisors in low-skilled occupations for whom traditional pedagogical approaches may be inappropriate. The purpose of this paper is to describe the development and preliminary evaluation of AST for these supervisors, using self-determination theory (SDT) and andragogical principles of adult learning.

Design/methodology/approach

SDT and andragogical principles were systematically integrated to develop (a 3 h) AST programme. The training sessions were trialled with 11 first-line supervisors in New Zealand as a preliminary evaluation of AST. The evaluation used open-ended questions following Kirkpatrick’s evaluation model and incorporated the trainer’s reflections.

Findings

Supervisors found AST relevant, easy to understand and suited to their approach to learning. Trainer’s reflections also provided insight into the challenges in conducting such training for supervisors in low-skilled occupations and the article makes suggestions to address these challenges.

Research limitations/implications

AST can be successfully tailored to first-line supervisors, indicating that an autonomy-supportive style of leadership is relevant for those employed in low-skilled occupations. This initial evaluation provides a foundation for future studies to conduct higher-level assessment of AST.

Practical implications

AST can be utilised to provide first-line supervisors with access to improved leadership development opportunities. Challenges of conducting this kind of training programme in a context of low-skilled occupations are addressed and recommendations made for organisations and trainers.

Originality/value

This study is novel as it demonstrates the development of AST, a leadership skills training, tailored to suit the needs of an understudied group, supervisors in low-skilled occupations.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 51 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 October 2020

Nizar Mohammad Alsharari and Muhammad Turki Alshurideh

This paper aims to introduce a new retention model suitable for academic setting that is based on the interaction between creativity, emotional intelligence and learner autonomy.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce a new retention model suitable for academic setting that is based on the interaction between creativity, emotional intelligence and learner autonomy.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses quantitative research methods, especially survey, to justify the hypotheses testing and the components of new retention model. Based on the proposed model, three hypotheses have developed and tested using Smart Partial Least Square (SPLS) method. This paper also uses the qualitative data including documents, archival records and website analysis.

Findings

The findings denote that creativity, emotional intelligence and learner autonomy positively affect students' retention. The findings also indicate that there is a strong relationship between emotional intelligence and learner autonomy. It assumes that the study indicators might lead to students' retention and that autonomous learners persevere toward academic goals.

Research limitations/implications

The paper concludes with discussion of limitations of the study, suggestions for future research, and how administrators of nontraditional programs can benefit from this study. This study has important implications for higher education decision makers and university leaders alike.

Originality/value

The proposed students' retention model symbolizes the interplay between the cognitive and affective domains of creativity and emotional intelligence, which can contribute to learner autonomy intentions, changes in persistence and formulation of new beliefs in higher education.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 June 2012

Liam Morgan

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the development of learner autonomy and the application of Web 2.0 tools in the language classroom.

2484

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the development of learner autonomy and the application of Web 2.0 tools in the language classroom.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach taken is that of qualitative action research within an explicit theoretical framework and the data were collected via surveys and through the analysis of learner diaries.

Findings

Although the students were found to have high‐level skills in relation to the use of Web 2.0 tools, it was also found that explicit teaching is needed to maximize the potential of these tools.

Research limitations/implications

Future research in this area is needed to develop a stronger research base around the student use of Web 2.0 to enhance their learning of second languages.

Practical implications

The paper highlights a need for teachers to engage in discussions with students around the use of Web 2.0 tools beyond the classroom and to model effective use of these within the classroom.

Social implications

The paper seeks to explore the implications of the development of Web 2.0 skills by students and seeks to contribute to the current thinking around the use of social media by Generation Y (Gen‐y) students.

Originality/value

This paper will be of value to second–language teachers reflecting on the need to better equip students faced with the combination of vast amounts of online material with the rich potential of publishing through Web 2.0 tools.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 March 2011

Yaacov J. Katz and Yaacov B. Yablon

The purpose of the paper is to examine the efficiency of SMS based cell‐phone vocabulary learning as compared to email vocabulary delivery and snail mail vocabulary…

1690

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to examine the efficiency of SMS based cell‐phone vocabulary learning as compared to email vocabulary delivery and snail mail vocabulary delivery at the university level.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 241 first year university students studied English vocabulary in their mandatory English foundation course. Students were divided into three groups: study via cell‐phone based SMS messages, via email messages and via snail mail delivery. Vocabulary lists were delivered weekly to students via the three delivery strategies during course. Students in the three groups were tested on English vocabulary and responded to a questionnaire that examined their attitudes toward flexibility of the learning strategy; user friendliness of the learning strategy; learner control of the learning process, learner motivation; and learner autonomy.

Findings

Results of the study indicate that there were no significant differences for achievement attained by the three groups on the vocabulary test. However, there were significant differences on students' attitudes toward flexibility of learning; user friendliness of the learning strategy; learner control of the learning process, learner motivation; and learner autonomy. The students who received SMS messages had most positive attitudes on all five factors, followed by attitudes of students who received email messages, who were followed by attitudes of students who received vocabulary via snail mail.

Practical implications

It appears that SMS based vocabulary delivery is perceived as more effective than email delivery which is felt to be more efficient than snail mail learning. Results of the study indicate the potential for university vocabulary learning via cell‐phone based SMS messaging.

Originality/value

This paper indicates the value of SMS messaging for vocabulary learning at the university level.

Details

Campus-Wide Information Systems, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-0741

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 4 November 2021

Ramashego Shila Shorty Mphahlele and Matlala Violet Makokotlela

This chapter employed a systemic meta-synthesis literature review to reflect on the transactional variables of the theory of transactional distance (TTD) in addressing…

Abstract

This chapter employed a systemic meta-synthesis literature review to reflect on the transactional variables of the theory of transactional distance (TTD) in addressing barriers to student engagement in the open and distance learning (ODL). Literature sources were obtained from unlimited databases around the globe; however, articles published before 2015 were not included in this review. Through the literature review, the authors identified barriers to student engagement in the ODL through the lens of TTD. The identified barriers to student engagement are presented according to three transactional variables of the TTD and later classified concerning student engagement dimensions. Findings suggest that key instructional dialogue barriers emanate from the teacher and student personality. For program structure, the authors found the poorly designed courses while for learner autonomy there are situational, institutional, and dispositional barriers. The identified barriers to student engagement in ODL revealed the interrelatedness of the transactional variables and the strong link with the student engagement dimensions. By integrating the transactional variables of TTD and student engagement dimensions, this chapter identified possible strategies to address barriers to student engagement in the ODL.

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